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Retail Profile: Southcentre Mall in Calgary (Spring 2021)

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Retail Insider continues its Photo Tour series of Canadian malls to provide a glimpse into shopping centres which may be less frequented lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition takes us to Southcentre Mall in Calgary. The shopping centre contains approximately 190 stores over two floors and is owned/managed by Oxford Properties. In addition to the retail component, Southcentre has had several community support initiatives over the years, including adopting urban beehives in August 2020 and hosting autism-friendly Santa events for children.

Google Map of Calgary with "SouthCentre Mall" circled
Google Map of Calgary with Southcentre Mall circled. Photo: Google Map with highlight by Retail Insider
Google Satellite Map of "SouthCentre Mall" in Calgary
Satellite Google Map of Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Google Maps

Southcentre spans more than 1.1 million square feet and the Hudson’s Bay Company is the main anchor tenant, with the four junior tenants being Sport Chek, H&M, Sporting Life, and Old Navy.

History of Southcentre Mall

Southcentre shopping mall opening, Calgary, Alberta
Published in the Calgary Herald, July 31, 1974. Calgary’s new $20 million Southcentre complex opens and is packed by shoppers. Photo: Alberta On Record

Southcentre opened in 1974 and it unveiled a north-wing expansion in 1988. A 234,000-square-foot anchor space for Eaton’s was being built just prior to the retailer’s bankruptcy in 1999, and Sears Canada subsequently secured the space which it occupied until its demise in 2018. Following Sears’ closure, a portion of the anchor space was briefly occupied by Showhome Furniture. A ground-floor subdivision of the anchor space was announced by Oxford Properties in July 2020 which saw Winners, Dollarama, and PetSmart come to occupy the demised space.

Breaking Up Southcentre Mall

SouthCentre Tour Zones
Southcentre tour zones. Photo: Southcentre Mall Map with zones overlaid by Retail Insider.

In order to make this photo tour manageable, each floor of the shopping centre has been divided into two tour zones (north and south halves).

Lower Level North at Southcentre Mall

Lower Level, North side of SouthCentre Mall Tour Zone
North side, lower level of Southcentre Mall tour zone. Photo: Southcentre Mall map with zone overlaid by Retail Insider

Starting at the top (or the north) section of the lower level, the key tenants are Shoppers Drug Mart and Sporting Life — which was the first in western Canada and opened in October 2016. Both retailers are two-story retail spaces with entrances on both floors.

Sporting Life at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Sporting Life at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch
Shoppers Drug Mart on Lower Level at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Shoppers Drug Mart on the lower level of Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Other retailers in this section of Southcentre include GNC, The Source, Cleo, Garage, Analog Coffee, Mobile Q, T. Kettle, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, QE Home | Quilts Etc., Tommy Gun’s, Urban Kids, Charm Diamond Centres, Jersey City, Just Cozy, Laura, Bellissima, Foot Locker, Below the Belt, Twisted Goods, Merle Norman, Roots, Labels, Treehouse Toys, Call It Spring, and Drops of Gratitude.

Collab at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Collab at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

At the eastern point of the lower level is Retail Concept ‘Collab’ which opened in July 2020 and features exclusively-Canadian products.

Dollarama at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Dollarama at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

With the departure of big box and department retailers like Target, Eaton’s, and Sears Canada from the Canadian retail marketplace, landlords needed to strategize to fill vacated anchor retail spaces. With the July 2020 announcement by Oxford Properties to redevelop the vacated Sears Canada space, Dollarama officially opened in November 2020 and PetSmart opened in April 2021. Winners is scheduled to open soon.

Winners "Coming Soon" to SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Winners is coming soon to Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch
PetSmart (exterior) at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
PetSmart (exterior) at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Lower Level South at Southcentre Mall

The south side of the lower level is part of the original shopping centre build from the 1970s. It has been renovated over the years to make it seamlessly flow with the northern addition.

Lower Level, South side of SouthCentre Mall Tour Zone
South side, lower level of Southcentre Mall tour zone. Photo: Southcentre Mall map with zone overlaid by Retail Insider

The main tenants for the south section of Southcentre are Sport Chek (which also extends up to the second level) and a single-level Old Navy store.

SportChek at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Sport Chek at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch
Old Navy at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Old Navy at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

VRKADE is a concept which opened in August 2020 and offers unique virtual reality experiences specializing in both educational programs and experiential entertainment. The cutting-edge technology offers virtual escape rooms, arcade games, educational camps/field trips, and other immersive experiences.

Other retailers and services in this section of the mall included Ardene, Ultimate Showcase, Purdy’s Chocolate, Bailey Nelson, Le Chateau (closing soon), Bentley, Ricki’s, The Body Shop, Claire’s Boutique, Soft Moc, Mobile Klinik, Nutrition House, Ben Moss Jewellers, Disney Store, Boathouse, LenseCrafters, The Children’s Place, Mountain Warehouse, Bootlegger Jeans, Journeys, RW&CO, Jack & Jones, IIahui, and People’s Jewellers.

Bailey Nelson was 'Coming Soon' to SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Bailey Nelson is coming soon to Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Construction signage for Bailey Nelson was happened upon during our April 2021 photo tour, claiming to be opening in April 2021.

Le Chateau is shuttering Canada-wide, including at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Le Chateau is shuttering Canada-wide, including at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

With Le Chateau announcing it was shuttering operations in October 2020, Southcentre Mall did have a location with major sale promotions in advance of vacating the space.

The southern part of Southcentre mall has three other retailers featured in Retail Insider, including:

adesso. Man at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
adesso. Man at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch
Tip Top at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Tip Top at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Upper Level North at Southcentre Mall

Moving up to the upper level of Southcentre Mall on the north end brings us to the renovated food court as well as the second level of the anchor tenants — Shoppers Drug Mart and Sporting Life.

Upper Level, North side of SouthCentre Mall Tour Zone
North side, upper level of Southcentre Mall tour zone. Photo: Southcentre Mall map with zone overlaid by Retail Insider

While we are loosely calling all the other retailers with a larger footprint anchor tenants, the largest and longstanding anchor tenant in Southcentre Mall is the Hudson’s Bay Company. This location was set to receive a major overhaul in 2015.

Hudson's Bay at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Hudson’s Bay at Southcentre Mall in Calgary which appears to be the most updated store for the Bay in Alberta. Photo: Jessica Finch
Hudson's Bay with EB Games at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Hudson’s Bay with EB Games at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch
Overall view of Upper Level North in SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Overall view of upper level north in Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Other retailers in this section of the mall include Sirens, Showcase, Gap, Lamose, Sephora, La Vie en Rose, Northern Reflections, Banana Republic, Laura Plus, CGY Team, Fossil, Dynamite, and Michael Hill.

Overview of Upper Level North at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Overview of upper level north at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

The second-level food court has a seating area that capitalizes on the iconic glass façade which is prominently utilized in the shopping centre’s marketing campaigns and is highly recognizable for the centre.

Food court at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Food court at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

A little known fact is that Southcentre Mall was Edo Japan’s first location back in 1979 and Retail Insider reported on Edo Japan’s national expansion launch in September 2017.

Edo Japan in Food Court at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Edo Japan in food court at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Upper Level South at Southcentre Mall

The final zone of the Southcentre Mall tour is the southern section of the upper level. This area includes access to the upper level of Sport Chek, as well as the vacant retail space yet to be filled after Sears Canada’s departure.

Upper Level, South side of SouthCentre Mall Tour Zone
South side, upper level of Southcentre Mall tour zone. Photo: Southcentre Mall map with zone overlaid by Retail Insider

The main tenant for the zone which hasn’t been mentioned in our tour yet is H&M. This retailer does not extend to the lower level as Old Navy is below it.

H&M at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
H&M at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

Other retailers in this section of the mall include Crate and Barrel, Oak & Tonic, Thomas Jeffrey, Lululemon, Joydrop, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, American Eagle, Aritzia, Bath and Body Works, Sole to Soul, Dana Dow Jewellers, Eddie Bauer, Restoration Hardware, Blu’s, Talbots, and Lily by Lyla.

Edmonton-based Blu’s is a high-end, multi-brand womenswear retailer that has existed for more than 35 years. The retailer also operates at Banker’s Hall in downtown Calgary as well as at the Manulife Place in downtown Edmonton.

To the right of the retailer “Lily” is a vacated “Victoria’s Secret” location next to a Joydrop, MAC Cosmetics, and Michael Kors location.

Overview of Upper Level South
Overview of upper level south. Photo: Jessica Finch

This retail area also includes a Browns Shoes location which was announced in February 2017 as part of its spring expansion.

Browns Shoes at SouthCentre Mall in Calgary
Browns Shoes at Southcentre Mall in Calgary. Photo: Jessica Finch

We had a very interesting photo walk around Southcentre Mall in southern Calgary and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out our other retail photo tours over the past few months. Thank you for taking this tour with us.

Article Author

Lee Rivett
Lee Rivetthttps://retail-insider.com
Lee Rivett, based in Vancouver, supports the digital distribution and technical backend operations of Retail Insider. This includes providing technical support for the editors during the digital publication cycle, streamlining virtual tools for the cross-country team and a variety of other duties which keeps the publication running smoothly.

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